Lara Zapata

Home Country: Argentina
Age: 25
Qualified to Care For: Children Ages 2 and Older
Available: Immediately

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Letter To My Future Host Family

Hi family!
My name is Lara. I’m 24 years old and I’m from Victoria, a small city in the province of Entre Ríos, Argentina. Victoria has a little more than 35 thousand inhabitants, its customs are related to that of a peaceful town.. Victoria’s downtown consists of a few blocks that surround the main square, there’re many shops and restaurants, and we also have wide beaches on the coast of the river where I hang out with friends specially in summer days. My city has so much history; it’s a lovely place to live. It’s been a year now since I live on my own with my two babies Milo and Gala, two dogs that I rescued from the local dog shelter last year.. I care so much for them and they’ve become part of my family!
My family consists of my dad, Ariel (48 y/o), my mom Mónica (46 y/o) and my brother Bruno (20 y/o). I also have “two sisters” as my mom would say.. Cimmeria and Dulce, two beautiful dogs. My parents own a store where we sell phones, accessories related to them and provide internet service among other services for the local people. My brother and I work in the family business as well. Bruno is also doing a course related to agronomy. We share a lot of time and activities together! Even though I have my own place, we have lunch or dinner together almost every day. At home we have certain co-living rules in which we distribute the house chores for everything! For example, while mom cooks, Bruno sets the table, my dad picks it up and I do the dishes. I try to be an organized person, specially because I like the order and I believe we should keep tidy the common areas in the house as well as in every place we go. Now that I have my own place some days they help me out with whatever I need, that’s to say going grocery shopping or paying the bills. My family is everything for me. They have made me into the respectful, hardworking, committed person I am today and have also taught me the importance of responsibility. They have also been my main support and motivation to give this huge step forward. I consider our family as close, adventurous, we looove animals and also sharing trips, vacations, or sport events because they are passionate about them.
As regards my studies during primary and secondary school I went to a private institute of English where I got my teaching degree in 2011, besides I took the First Certificate of English exam that same year. In 2014 when I finished school I moved to Rosario on my own to study the English teacher career. During 3 years I got the chance to live and study there, it was an absolute change in my daily routine. Rosario is one of the main biggest cities in Argentina with endless opportunities that helped me open my mind and become independent. Also I had the golden opportunity to live a cultural exchange in between, a 3 weeks trip to Oxford so that I could study english! I was only 18 years old, and it was my first time flying out of the country ALONE.. something increadibly challenging that made me realize how much I enjoyed pushing myself out of my comfort zone, traveling, learning and exploring. English is my passion ever since I can remember, I find it easy to comprehend and speak (even if I make mistakes). This started at my 10’s watching Disney Channel movies and series! I’m lucky to have a brother that shares the same feeling, so we get to watch movies or listen to songs and practise with each other speaking and so on. Finally, when I came back from Oxford I continued studying to be a teacher until I realized it was not my vocation even if I liked helping those who needed explanations or practice in their homeworks! That trip had changed my perspective of life, and I wanted to travel but still be connected to this language. That’s how I started a Tourism career, from which I got graduated last year!
If I have to mention something that I like doing or describes me I wouldn’t be able to chose one thing! As a child I used to be curious and active. That’s a part of me that still remains. At school I was that one person who I signed up for all team sports, such as Voleyball or Handball. Actually, I competed in various local tournaments. Nowadays I don’t have much time to do these activities on a regular basis but I do take pleasure in going to the gym every now and then! Being involved in these activities gave me a lot of friends and turned me into a super sociable person. I love hanging out, going to the cinema, among other things. On the other side, I consider myself as a reasonable, sensitive and empathic person. If there’s something I love and respect is animals and for that reason I decided to become a vegetarian 6 months ago and I hope to keep learning and informing myself so as to change my habits and have a more conscious consumption not only in that aspect but also in everything that appeals to us as a society, I believe that questioning ourselves is extremely important and something we should definitely teach kids!
I think I’ve always had a genuine connection with kids. My experience with them has been very wide as I have a laaarge family, a lot of little cousins that have always been under my care for being the eldest of them. Truth is I love being around them doing different activities, games or teaching them new stuff. When I finished studying English at the Institute, I still had one more year left to gradúate from secondary school. That year I focused on helping my friend’s brothers and sisters prepare their final english exams and also to keep up with their appointments at school, they were about 6 and 13 years old back then.. That’s when I knew I adored what I was doing, and I had so much fun teaching as much as they did learning! My first formal job as a babysitter was with two beautiful kids Dylan (5 y/o) and Deina (2 y/o). I only took care of them during the morning, prepared their breakfast and played with them. They are such lovely and quiet kids. Then I babysitted Luz (5y/o), with her I had a bit more of responsibility because she did artistic skate and I had to take her to class, wait for her, dress her and also bathe her, we also played and had our meals together as we shared more time of the day. Luz is incredible, she would always surprise me with her creativity, mischief and energy. Even though she had her naughty side for I had to punish her sometimes, we learned to understand and love each other! I even have some drawing she gave me and I keep them as memories. Nowadays I’m babysitting Milena (3 y/o) only two days of the week.. In every experience I had my main responsibility were the kids and everything related to them, such as keeping tidy the common areas where we played or taking them to do outside activities, sometimes during bad weather conditions we stayed inside and watched movies.. I have a great affection with them and also with their parents who have given me the confidence to care for their children.
When I found out about the Au Pair program, I had no doubt that this experience was for me. I know that although I have experience with children I still have a lot to learn, but I think the most important thing is the desire and interest I have in doing it. The connection that I generated with Luz, Dylan, Milena and Deina goes beyond everything. We still keep in touch just like I do with their parents and every moment I spent with them I tried to make them feel at home and comfortable that they can count on me at any time, not just as a babysitter. On the other hand, my biggest fear with moving to another country is the detachment from my affections, I must confess. I am a person very attached to the people I love although I also have my adventurous and independent side. My parents have always given my brother and me all the possibilities to choose what to do with our lives, that we be responsible for our own decisions and they have always been there to listen to us or give us advice without prohibiting anything. Therefore, I would like to coincide with a family that generates that same feeling in me, that of being at home and knowing that no matter what happens, we will always be able to speak what we like as well as what we dislike or the things in which we do not agree. I want to live my cultural exchange experience to the fullest, generate a warm relationship with my American family, learn about your customs, travel and make new friends! Also know that you will be my support during the tough days as well as those that are not, just as I am willing to be there for you! I look forward to hearing from you, that we can meet soon and hope to be what you are looking for!

With love, Lara

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